MONTVILLE, NJ – Officer Kurt Geisinger was found not guilty of driving while intoxicated by Judge Michael Carlucci in Morris Plains municipal court on March 7.
Geisinger had been arrested on Oct. 21, 2016 for DWI, according to a release from Montville Township Police Chief Rudy Appelmann and Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.
Morris Plains Prosecutor Matthew Petracca called Montville Township police dispatcher Liz Johansen as his first witness, who said she saw Geisinger as she was coming off duty. She said she saw Geisinger in the parking lot near an unmarked police car which was parked near her personal vehicle. She said she asked him if he was okay. Officers work a 6:30 to 6:30 shift, and Geisinger’s was ending, according to Johansen. She testified when asked by Geisinger’s attorney, Denis Driscoll, that it would not be unusual for an officer to be in the parking lot when she saw him around 6:20 p.m.
Officer Alexander Yang was then called to testify, and when Driscoll asked him, he testified that he worked the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift. At approximately 8 p.m. he was assigned the task of arresting Geisinger, who told him he had been drinking in the parking lot but not in a vehicle, Yang said. He did not see Geisinger operating, he said when Petracca cross-examined.
It was not made clear why there was a two-hour delay in the arrest, or the events leading up to the arrest.
Driscoll stated the deficiencies of the case and Carlucci made his ruling.
“The state has a broad definition of driving while intoxicated, but the state has the burden to demonstrate intent to operate a motor vehicle,” Carlucci said. “Prosecution has shown no evidence of operating or that Mr. Geisinger was going to operate a vehicle.”